Sunday, June 19, 2011

Greg's U Pick in Clarence Center

On Father's Day, Geoffrey, Jacob and I went out to Greg's U Pick to pick some strawberries (and when I say some, I mean a total of 17 quarts between the three of us!!). They are located at 9270 Lapp Road in Clarence Center, NY and they are open daily from 8am - 5pm.

The farm is easy to find (it's off of Transit Road) and the fields are huge. They have plenty of parking and a few small stands set up in the back with flats and quart baskets to put them in and off you go! You can also bring your own quarts to fill up as well.

We chose to go more towards the front of the farm, and we started off with a lot of smaller strawberries. A dad and son passed us as they finished up and told us there were bigger ones and a lot more further down so we took his advice and headed down there. He was right! We really picked great very red and ripe strawberries.

Strawberry picking is addicting! Once all our quarts were filled we all agreed we didn't want to stop. The fields smelled yummy, and really there's no better taste than a strawberry warmed by the sun!!

Strawberry picking is a perfect family activity. It's active, educational and an inexpensive way to enjoy the sun! The quarts cost $3.75 per quart and if you buy 4 or more they are $3.25 a quart. While it is a little pricier than the grocery stores, you can't really beat getting home grown strawberries at least once a summer!

Strawberry picking season is just about over now, so if you don't get a chance to get out there this year, keep it in mind for next summer. Early to mid June is prime strawberry picking season!

When you go, don't forget to bring a garden kneeler or something to kneel on since the patches are all low on the ground, and put on some sunscreen, there's no shade if it is a sunny day :)

Greg's U Pick Farm also grows blueberries and they will be available to pick in mid July. They will be selling them by the pound, $2.30 per pound, and I think we will go back to pick some of them!

If you want a fun outdoor activity, this is a summertime must in Buffalo :)

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Kenney Field in Tonawanda

Growing up Kenney Field (Walter M. Kenny Field) was a place where my family would go to play. I have many memories of my Mom taking us there to play on the playground, the big airplane we would climb on and a train that used to be there as well. We'd go fly kites and enjoy a nice day in Tonawanda. It is located right on the corner of Brighton Road and Colvin Avenue. (Currently there is a Family Video across the street, and then a plaza with a chocolate store, DiPaulo's Pizza and a massage place)

Over time the Field has changed and been utilized for other purposes. Soccer leagues play there throughout the year, football games for the Town are played there and they redid the fields.

At some point, I'm not sure when, the train was removed, and more recently the airplane (which is a Korean War Era Grumman F9F-6P Cougar Naval airframe that has been on display there since 1959) was restored and fenced in. It is no longer available to the public as a part of a "playground" that kids can climb on.

More recently, they constructed The Town of Tonawanda Veterans Memorial behind the airplane. The Memorial was set up for members of the Town to pay tribute to their relatives, friends and fellow Americans who sacrificed their lives serving their country.

The current finished product was finished back in 2010 and has numerous areas to add new names to. Around the memorial there are numerous benches and small trees that people purchased in Honor or In Memory of a soldier.

I took an afternoon and spent some time down at the Memorial, looking at the names, remembering stories I have heard, and reflecting on the ultimate sacrifice. The Memorial is powerful and a good place to visit if you are involved in the military, have friends or family involved, are a history buff, or just want to pay your respects.

The playrground in the area has been updated and it is still a popular place for Tonawanda families to spend an afternoon.

If you are in the area, make the stop to check out The Memorial and airplane.

Thank you to all the men and women who so bravely fought for and are still fighting for our safety. Your strength and willingness to defend what our country stands for overwhelms me.

We will never forget all our brave soliders have done for us.

I have no connection to the Memorial, wasn't part of any planning or fundraising for it, but I have included the link to donate to it if it is something you would be interested in:

Monday, June 13, 2011

Delaware Park: Ring Road, The Lunch Box, War of 1812 Memorial

My favorite thing to do on my lunch break in the summer is to walk down to Delaware Park and do one lap around Ring Road in Delaware Park.

One lap around Ring Road is approximately 1.78 miles and it circles around the golf course and soccer fields. The roads are paved well, it is always clean, and most of the people you come across are really friendly. It's a great, safe and pretty place to walk, jog, ride a bike, walk with your baby, or rollerblade. You even get to catch the sight of some of the animals at The Buffalo Zoo on the lap around (my favorite are the Buffalo!)

The Park surrounding the road is a good place to go and chill out after work or before. Everytime I go there I see people sitting on lawn chairs reading the paper, a book or are listening to their IPod's.

Within walking distance to Ring Road is The Parkside Lodge that houses The Lunchbox, a really yummy lunch spot that serves sandwiches, wraps, salads, and soups throughout the year. They are priced reasonably and it is usually a favorite lunch spot in the summer for people at my work. I highly recommend the following: The Roasted Veggie Wrap ($5.50), BBQ pulled pork (4.95) and Caprese Wrap ($5.50).

They also have a smaller kiosk halfway around Ring Road with a smaller limited menu for the summer. I just noticed today that they are open NOW but only from 2pm - 8pm on weekdays, which is a bummer since I am always there earlier in the day than that.

One fact I recently learned about Delaware Park is that is has a historical tie in to the War of 1812. Located at the center of the Park (where the golf course is now) is a mass grave for 300 American soliders who were killed in the War of 1812. In the center of the golf course there is a rock which marks the area with a plaque. One of these days while I'm on my walk I am planning on getting out to the middle of the course to snap a shot of the rock. What an interesting piece of history for war buffs out there.

If you want to get outdoors this summer to get in your workouts, make the drive to Delaware Park (there's a decent amount of free parking) and do a lap or two around Ring Road. It's a great way to get a workout in, enjoy the Buffalo scenery and change up your normal routine!

I'm usually down there weekdays sometime between 12-130 (depending on when I decide to take my lunch) so if you see me, say hello!

**PLEASE NOTE: Since this blog was published in 2011, The Lunchbox has moved out of The Parkside Lounge and operates out of The Tri Main Building on Main Street.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Beautiful Buffalo

I took this back in 2010 when I was on a Miss Buffalo Charter on a gorgeous Buffalo summer day. It is my favorite shot of Buffalo I have taken :)


BFLO Harbor Kayak

On Memorial Day 2011 Geoffrey, Jacob and I went down to the Erie Basin Marina to walk around the Naval Park and canoe!

We rented a canoe from Bflo Harbor Kayak and had an absolute blast. They are located at The Central Wharf on the Commercial Slip. They just have a blue tent with a small sign stating their name and life jackets hanging from the tent. You can't miss the different kayaks and canoes they have next to the tent, and down on the docks.

It cost $30 for an hour for the three of us (although the cost is really for two people).

We were given our paddles and the owner helped us into the canoe and set us free! I'm not sure if it is something I would have done on my own (since that was my first time canoeing), but luckily Geoffrey had done it before, so I knew we'd be safe. I was sorta surprised that they didn't give you any tips or say anything other than, "See you in an hour", but I guess they are targeting people who have done it before. You do have a waiver you are asked to sign releasing them from anything that may happen to you while you are out there.

We canoed around inside the Marina; we didn't want to venture out too far and get stuck with bigger waves. We canoed near the old grain elevators and the General Mills plant and it was interesting to see how the old industrial buildings were built. We had fun looking at all the different boats and seeing their names. It intrigued me to learn more about the grain elevators and I'm gonna do some research on it. They offer a tour of them through Buffalo Tours, so maybe I'll do that...either way, it will probably end up being a blog post soon!

All three of us took turns at paddling and after a while we got into a good groove. It definitely does take a lot of upper body strength that I don't have, but I did pretty good with what I could. We paddled leisurely so we could enjoy the sights around us too :)

You can also rent them for 1/2 the day and it really isn't that much more money ($45 for 4 hours)

The best deal they offer is getting the season pass which only costs $75. Get out once a week and it's quite a deal!

The owner was a friendly guy and it's a great way to get in some exercise and enjoy the sights of Buffalo around you. I'd suggest it if you've canoed or kayaked before, but if you haven't, make sure you take someone experienced out with you!

Monday, June 6, 2011

Summer Concerts

Here is a link to all the summer concerts in the area (most of which are free).

Check it out when you get a chance!


Saturday, June 4, 2011

Empire Grill on Hertel

Double date nights are fun :) They excite me! I get all giddy girlfriend and can't wait to do the whole double date thing. I was especially excited to hang out with this couple because they just had a baby and I'm sure they enjoyed a night out!

So anyway, it was Geoffrey, Josh, Jen and me, and we went out on Thursday June 2nd. It was the perfect evening to go out; I needed to destress before my biggest fundraising event for my work on Friday and it was a really nice evening out.

Jen picked out the restaurant and we agreed on Empire Grill on Hertel in North Buffalo.

The restaurant is on a corner and we went out to dinner early enough where we got prime parking right in front of the restaurant. The decor is modern and cute, and I really like the layout of the place. They have seating upstairs and downstairs with a nice looking bar downstairs.

I knew it was going to be a good night when "Hanging Tough" by New Kids On The Block came on over the music system. It must have been the 90's mix tape they had playing over the sound system!

Anyway, we all started off with drinks (3 beers and Jen had a glass of Riesling) which was a generous glass of wine, she noted!

For dinner we all chose sandwich type items - I had the Chicken Florentine sandwich with fries. The sandwich was yummy, the bread it was on was really good and the fries were pretty awesome. Everyone else seemed to really enjoy their dinners as well (There was a crab cake sandwich, a burger with bacon, bbq sauce and a fried egg, and a hot pepper sandwich...and no, those aren't the official names but I'll get those in when I have a chance).

Our waitress was friendly and service was decent - although I will say that everyone's food came out and somehow they forgot the "Florentine" in mine so I had to wait an extra few minutes for my dinner to come out.

Overall, it's a good place to eat, and I've heard they have kareoke nights, pub nights and other special events if those type of things are your gig. Check them out online at or you can find them on Facebook.

By the way, random aside, but after dinner we went to see The Hangover 2 and if you liked the first one, go see it. If you haven't seen the first one, get out from the rock you are living under and see it. It's one of my favorites :)

For more reviews on Empire Grill, check out:

Empire Grill on Urbanspoon